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Kashmir highway remains closed

Written by: Staff

Srinagar, Feb 27 (UNI) The Kashmir valley remained cut off from the rest of the country for the second day today due to the closure of the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway following landslides.

However, a traffic police official told UNI that the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway, has pressed into service sophisticated machines to clear the highway.

He said the highway is expected to reopen in the afternoon, provided there were no landslides and shooting of stones.

Official sources said hundreds of vehicles, including trucks loaded with essential commodities and carrying passengers, are stranded on either side of the highway.

No vehicle was allowed from Jammu or Srinagar this morning, the sources said, adding only stranded vehicles would be allowed to proceed towards their respective destinations if the highway reopened in the afternoon.

The highway, the only road linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, was closed for vehicular traffic following heavy rains triggering landslides between Ramban and Ramsu. There were reports of shooting stones also at several places, posing a great threat to traffic movement, the sources added.

The water level in the river Jhelum and its tributaries has increased because of heavy rains in the plains while upper reaches experienced fresh snowfall during the past 24 hours, resulting in severe cold conditions. However, there was no immediate threat of flood in the river Jhelum, officials said.

The authorities in North Kashmir have directed the flood control officials to remain alert for any sudden rise in the water level in nullahs.

Many nullahs in Baramulla and Kupwara were over flowing, threatening low lying villages. One person died after being swept away by flood waters in Nullah Hapatnar in Nadihal in the Baramulla district early yesterday.

Meanwhile, several roads in the city were inundated because of the poor drainage system.


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